A Daring Arrangement (The Four Hundred, #1) by Joanna Shupe

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ARC provided by Avon in exchange for an honest review.

“The plan was simple. If her father wanted her to find a husband, she’d find the most outrageous man in New York, a fiancé noteworthy and unsuitable enough to land in the papers.”

Friends, I am not sure if this is because I just don’t read that much historical romance, or that I just couldn’t connect with these characters or story, but this just did not work for me. Honestly, I think I’m going to try a Tessa Dare book, and if that doesn’t work for me then I’m just going to swear off historical romances for a while. This was just so boring. Nothing happened what so ever. And I’ll admit, I picked this up because I was craving romance, so maybe the fact that the romance didn’t even start until 70% into the book made me really not enjoy it.

A Daring Arrangement is a story about a daughter of a prestigious Earl in England, who has been sent to her Aunt’s in America so that her father can escape a scandal that she has tried to create, and maybe also find a proper husband for herself. But she desperately wants to get back to England, so she finds the most unacceptable match that she can find, so that her father will maybe wish to bring her back. But she and this improper man strike up an arrangement that will hopefully benefit both of them.

Honora (Nora) Parker – The Earl’s daughter, who has found love with an artist who is very much not the match her father wants her to have. But Nora loves him so much that she desperately wants to get back to England, the quickest way possible; getting engaged to a scandalous man.

“Her father would never approve of Hatcher as a husband, a scoundrel who would bring shame to the venerable Parker name.”

Julius Hatcher – A Very successful financier, who has been unable to let go of something terrible that happened in the past. And he thinks the only way that he can try to get vengeance is to become a New York socialite, so he can uncover who ruined his life so many years ago.

And Julius starts to show Nora what it means to be improper very quickly. Yet, he also really surprises her and the rest of the New York socialites with not only his behavior, but his amazing investing tips. But Julius very quickly realizes that maybe he wants to turn this fake engagement into a real one.

But you all know this is a romance novel, so obviously romance ensues. And I really did like Julius as a character. He actually made me laugh, and I just found him quite charming in general. I never really warmed up to Nora. Like, not even the last name helped her. And I just really never felt, or believed, their romance.

Overall, this book really made me question if historical romances are just not for me. Which is probably not a good sign, but it is what it is. I didn’t hate this book, and I didn’t find it offensive or anything like that, I just didn’t enjoy it. But I hope that if you pick it up, that you’ll find more happiness between the pages.

“Life was not fair, she wanted to tell him. Falling in love with a decent man her father refused to accept was unfair. Being a woman and not having the right to decide her own fate was unfair.”

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Content and trigger warnings for talk of suicide, grey area cheating, loss of a loved one, and some misogynistic comments.

11 thoughts on “A Daring Arrangement (The Four Hundred, #1) by Joanna Shupe

    1. Awh, I’m sorry, love! Take my review with a grain of salt because I really don’t read much historical romances! And I hope you enjoy this one more than I did! Happy reading! 💛xx

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    1. Right? Like… this was every stereotype that turns me off of them, too. I hope to try a Tessa Dare before the year is up, and I’ll let you know…. but same, love, same! 💕xx

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  1. I do love historical romances, but I haven’t read many this year because I’ve gotten tired of the same tropes/storylines being repeated ad nauseum. and part of the reason I’m fasincated by that time period is that social mores required ladies to be demure and there were all these rules of etiquette and merely the glimpse of an ankle or brush of fingers was something shocking/to be longed for…but then so many of the books I picked up had the virginal ingenue banging the guy in the broom closet by chapter two??? not to slut-shame, I’m all for sex positivity, but if that’s what the author wanted to write, don’t use characters in that time period where they were so formal and barely allowed to use first names after a month’s acquaintance, just write a contemporary erotica!

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